Arrest warrant issued for ousted president

Ivorian legal authorities have issued an international arrest warrant for ousted president Henri Konan Bedie and his former economy and finance minister, Niamien N'Goran, the state- owned `Fraternite Matin' reported on Wednesday.

Both men are wanted for the theft of public funds. The Abidjan daily, citing an unnamed legal source, said the warrent was also meant to keep Bedie's Swiss bank accounts frozen. The Ivorian government has less than three months to prove to the Swiss authorites that Bedie's money was acquired fraudulently.

Bedie said on the French television station, TF-1, he did not believe he would be sent back to an illegal government in Cote d'Ivoire. "I have faith in the law of France," he said.